AMMAN (Dispatches) – The Syrian government widened its offensive to recover the southwest on Wednesday, extending it to an enclave held by Daesh-affiliated terrorists as Russian warplanes targeted the area, a war monitor said.
The bombardment targeted the Yarmouk Basin, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan, and which is held by the Daesh-affiliated Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army.
President Bashar al-Assad is seeking to recover the entire southwestern corner of Syria in an offensive that got underway last month and has so far recovered swathes of territory from rebels fighting under the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday’s air strikes marked the first Russian strikes on the Yarmouk basin area in the war.
Assad has so far recovered swathes of Dara’a province in the southwest from FSA militants, many of whom have been forced into surrender agreements mediated by Russian officers. The United States, which once armed the southern FSA militants, told them at the start of the attack not to expect its intervention.
The Syrian government earlier this week took control of a strategically vital strip of the border from FSA militants in Dara’a province, denying them any access to the Jordanian frontier that was once an opposition lifeline.
In another development, the Zionist regime launched a Patriot interceptor missile on Wednesday at a drone spotted approaching from Syria, the second such incident in as many months, the regime’s military said.
The incident set off air sirens on the Golan Heights and the nearby Jordanian border, the military statement said.
The Zionist regime has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces advance against rebels near the Golan and Jordan.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army has reportedly seized two sophisticated French-made anti-tank weapon systems in the southern Province of Dara’a.
The arms, seized in Jadal village, were referred to as 112-mm APILAS (Armor-Piercing Infantry Light Arm System), online military magazine Defence Blog reported on Tuesday.
"Local media have released imagery showing two captured APILAS anti-tank weapon systems developed in France by GIAT Industries,” it said.
Currently known as Nexter Systems, GIAT Industries is a French government-owned arms manufacturer.
France is accused of backing anti-Damascus militancy since 2011.
The use of the APILAS anti-tank weapon system had also been spotted in Syria before, the magazine wrote, saying "as early as 2015, a couple of systems of this type were seized from Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants.”
After liberating Dara’a, Damascus hopes to free its neighboring provinces of Quneitra and Suwaida of terrorist presence, too. The three provinces form the Arab country’s southern tip near the border with Jordan.
The Syrian government widened its offensive to recover the southwest on Wednesday.